Richard Ryskamp: The Anti-Gay “Morality” Candidate for GRCC’s Board

Richard Ryskamp

On Monday, we posted video from a candidate forum for candidates in Grand Rapids Community College’s (GRCC) Board of Trustees election.

We also mentioned one candidate, Richard Ryskamp, is a far right “social conservative” that is running a campaign that wants to restore “values” to the college. Even though Ryskamp likely has no chance of winning–the oh-so-liberal Grand Rapids Press even came out against him–its worth noting his views on some of the issues, lest some voters accidentally vote for him (Trigger warning: some of this may be offensive):

COURSE MATERIAL: In his “My Story” page explaining why he is running, Ryskamp describes his major motivation as being the fact that a Freshman English course at GRCC assigned the film American Beauty in class. Ryskamp describes the film as “filthy” argues that it is indicative of the kind of “indoctrination” that public universities engage in. As further examples, he says that University of Michigan engages in “the training of abortionists to the promotion of sodomy through courses like ‘How to be Gay.'”

LGBT ISSUES: Ryskamp is highly critical of programs at GRCC that promote awareness about LGBT issues. For example, he is critical of GRCC’s decision to have gay men as speakers at GRCC during its Diversity Lecture Series. Ryskamp says that the two “promote perversity” asserting: “Among other things, both of these lecturers promoted the opinion that sodomy is wholesome and that certain special privileges should be granted to those who practice it. But no speaker has been hosted to present the opposing view, a view that has been held throughout the history of all enduring civilizations including our own, i.e. that sodomy is unwholesome for individuals and for our society as a whole.” Ryskamp’s homophobia is his main issue.

DRAMA: Ryskamp argues that GRCC’s theater group, GRCC Players, actively produces “propaganda media.” To that end, he argues that the school’s production of “Summer and Smoke” uses “our taxes… to repeatedly to glorify promiscuity.” Similarly, he criticizes the production of “Corpus Christi” in 2003. That play explores gay themes in Christianity. Not surprisingly, Ryskamp’s version of Christianity has room for no such discussion.

It’s also worth noting that in November of 2008, Ryskamp appeared on the ballot for the University of Michigan Regents. In an Mlive.com Voter Guide, Ryskamp said that the most important priority for the University of Michigan is “to end the assault on the religious and moral foundations of our society.”

In that election, Ryskamp ran as a candidate for the U.S. Constitution Party. The U.S. Constitution Party is a far-right political party that is anti-gay, wants to stop immigration and supports “English-only” laws, favors repealing voting rights legislation, and seeks to eliminate social programs such as social security and welfare. Back in 2006, its candidate for Michigan Attorney General spoke at a white supremacist gathering.

During his campaign for the University of Michigan Board of Regents, Ryskamp advocated cutting or eliminating taxpayer funding to educational institutions that pursue agendas contrary to “our nation’s foundation of (biblical) religion and morality.” In this election, Ryskamp has said that he has voted against recent funding requests for GRCC.

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Author: mediamouse

Grand Rapids independent media // mediamouse.org

5 thoughts on “Richard Ryskamp: The Anti-Gay “Morality” Candidate for GRCC’s Board”

  1. Thank you so much for this additional information. This guy sounds terrifying. He was so guarded and cagey in the video that you posted that, although it was clear he was hiding a personal agenda of some magnitude, it was hard to tell exactly what it was.

  2. It’s refreshing to see that someone is standing up for the values that made this such a great nation. Current ideology (the last 50 years) has only weakened the structure developed by the former biblically based fundamentals.

  3. I beg to differ. This country was founded on a secular nation with its roots in Greek and Roman law/governance and English case law – which is what made it great.

    In fact, the founders were hostile to the idea of theocratic influence in government which is why they included in Article 6 of the Constitution the provision that “no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States.”

    The fundamentalist religious component (which has actively sought to undermine those founding principles by perverting the political process and inserting patently-unconstitutional special privileges for Christians) has only been tacked on in the last 60 years or so.

    The purveyors of the particular set of Christian “values” you’re talking about argued in favor of the genocide perpetrated against the native population, in favor of slavery, and in favor of treating women as second-class citizens. If anything, too frequently their contributions have been to hold the US back.

  4. A. Seth, you have some good points there, but with all due respect, our founders were so hostile to the idea of a theocracy, the same Congress that passed the First Amendment also (1) elected paid chaplains for both the House and the Senate and (2) repassed the Northwest Ordinance, which states in past, “Religion, morality, and knowledge, being necessary to good government and the happiness of mankind, schools and the means of education shall forever be encouraged.”

    B. So yes, freedom of religion for all, but complete exclusion of God from our government, never.

    C. For what it’s worth, the original context of the phrase, “wall of separation between church and state,” is not the United States Constitution, but a letter from Thomas Jefferson to the Danbury Baptists, reassuring them “that the legitimate powers of government reach actions only, & not opinions.”

    D. And finally, with the exception of Louisiana, our country was largely founded on English common law, not French, Greek, or Roman civil law. English common law, of course, dates back before Blackstone to King Alfred the Great (many of whose statutes borrow heavily, sometimes almost word-for-word, from the Pentateuch), and maybe even before, but for the purposes of our discussion, let’s confine ourselves to Blackstone, whose works were probably quoted more frequently by our Founding Fathers in their writings than any other source except one (and that was the Bible, at 34% of all quotations).

    (1) Blackstone defines law as a “rule of action” “prescribed by some superior, and which the inferior is bound to obey.”

    (2) Blackstone goes on to say that “[m]an, considered as a creature, must necessarily be subject to the laws of his Creator, for he is entirely a dependent being.”

    (3) Blackstone defines the will of the Creator for mankind as the “law of Nature,” so called because this law is revealed to us “in nature,” i.e., by reason and common sense.

    (4) Blackstone defines the law of revelation as “to be found only in the Holy Scriptures,” which God in His “compassion” “hath been pleased, at sundry times and in diverse manners” to reveal to us by an “immediate and direct revelation.”

    (5) Blackstone states that upon the law of nature and the law of revelation “depend all human laws; that is to say, no human laws should be suffered to contradict these.” It is not surprising, therefore, that Jefferson appealed to “[1] the laws of nature and [2] of nature’s God” in justifying America’s declaration of independence from England.

    E. And finally, if you want to get into the practical aspects of the Christian worldview, we can talk about the Holocaust, the Soviet Union, China, Cambodia, slavery (like you mentioned), and a host of other subjects, but I’ve had enough typing and researching for the day, so I’m going to stop here. I really don’t want to discuss this further, but other people are welcome to take up where I left off, so have fun hashing out this subject, =) and God bless!

  5. Oh, and BTW, Mr. Morh, are you THE Bill Mohr that ran for State Rep. on the U.S. Taxpayer’s Party platform last year?

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